Home » No snow, but queues form as Australia’s first ‘alpine coaster’ opens

No snow, but queues form as Australia’s first ‘alpine coaster’ opens

The sight of a new $9 million alpine coaster – and a chaser of the biggest fireworks display of the season – were welcome distractions from otherwise bare and drizzly ski slopes over Thredbo’s opening weekend.

Opening to the public last Saturday the much-anticipated Thredbo Alpine Coaster saw scores of guests queue to be among the first to ride the new attraction – officially the first alpine coaster in the southern hemisphere open year-round.

One of the first riders on the new $9 million Thredbo Alpine Coaster.

The all-weather, all-year attraction is one of several major enhancements or new features rolling out to “future-proof” the resort and widen its appeal beyond the peak winter and summer seasons.

The resort has amped up its events program for 2024 with a bumper schedule of over 180 events spread throughout the year, marking Thredbo’s biggest calendar year to date.

Some of the changes guests can expect this season are a result of an expansion of the resort’s snowmaking, grooming and parks-building fleets, specifically the replacement of its pipeline snowmaking gun, three new fan guns near the Kosciuszko chairlift base, and two new snowcats.

Guests enjoying the thrilling 1.4-kilometre descent along the Alpine Coaster track.

Guests enjoying the thrilling 1.4-kilometre descent along the Alpine Coaster track.

Of course, the 1.5-kilometre-track mountain coaster is the star attraction this season. Rides begin with a 410-metre ascent before a heart-pumping 1.4-kilometre downhill jaunt that snakes and circles the alpine slopes at up to 40 km/h with speeds controlled by individual riders.

Speaking at the ribbon-cutting event on Friday, June 7, Thredbo’s general manager, Stuart Diver, said the new ride was a testament to the resort’s commitment as an all-season adventure destination.

“The Alpine Coaster is a world-class attraction for the Snowy Mountains and will greatly support year-round local tourism,” said Diver.